Thursday, January 14, 2010

Slime and Bacteria

Lots of hands-on chemistry and biology today. Emily received a glow in the dark slime kit for Christmas and she worked her way through that with great hilarity. The glow in the dark one really does glow in the dark and makes delightful fart noises when squished as an added bonus ;-)

She also made a less firm, sloppier clear slime to which she added drops of food colouring; they spread through it to make a really pretty stained glass effect.

The explanation in the kit about polymers was woefully inadequate, however, so we spent some time this morning looking up a decent explanation. Later this afternoon, Emily worked on this polymers basics internet scavenger hunt thingy (pdf file).

In biology, we mixed up some agar and Emily thought of four places to take swabs from, to see if the bacteria will grow. She chose a tongue (mine, not hers, because she didn't like the thought of scraping hers, lol), raw meat, some mould growing near the side door (it's that kind of house...sigh) and the toilet bowl. Nice. We'll have to keep checking on the petri dish to see what's happening.

Meanwhile, Emily has also been working hard on some IT research today. She's blinding me with science about tracing IP addresses and programming pop up boxes. Eeep. It all sounds very impressive but I'm a bit lost!

Took the car in for its MOT first thing yesterday morning. It failed, of course. Something to do with the steering column being loose - it's a Rover and the garage couldn't get hold of the part needed so sent me back home to try to find it from a scrapyard. Jon found and bought it online and it arrived today. The part wasn't expensive, but it's going to cost over a hundred to have it fitted since it's apparently a long job and involves resetting the tracking too (or somesuch) and they can't do it until Monday anyway. Bit stranded until then, since the MOT is way overdue and I'm nervous of driving the car illegally, especially since it apparently invalidates the insurance if you're driving without a valid MOT. Dratted car.


HelenHaricot said...

love the polymer link, and yes kits really really annoy me on how little science info is in them. most don't even give you the equation, let alone any other info!! grr and grumble!
did you just mix up agar agar, or buy the ready prepared? i've bought from ebay, but all seems expensive!

Nikki said...

Helen, I used ebay too; I bought a little thing comprising two petri dishes and two sachets of agar to make up. It was, I think, something around £7.50 including postage. Not particularly good value, but I didn't know what else to do!